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Sunday, March 30, 2003 AD
Party Report
Sheesh. Can't I even manage to go to a stinkin' party without getting creamed by conviction?

Some friends of mine hold what they call a "salon" a couple times a year. They invite folks over to share a meal and share their musical or literary or other talents. I attended for the first time last night.

Maria, my pastor's wife, sang a song she'd written from the perspective of the mother of a little girl who was murdered in Baltimore last year. I sang a song I'd written from the perspective of the only person I really seem to care about -- me.

Maria also read from a chapter of the book she's writing about 20 years of being an inner-city pastor's wife. This chapter was about some of the people who came to their door over the years -- some with legitimate needs, some with scam stories, all with broken lives -- and their struggles to learn to minister lovingly, but wisely. The final story was about an older lady who knocked on the church door and asked to see the pastor. Turns out that Craig, the young white kid who answered, was the pastor. What did she want? She was looking for a place where she could serve God's people. She found it, and served faithfully and lovingly until her death. Here's a picture of Craig and Miss Leslie:

My answer to the second verse in the hymn below is, "Um...well...yeah, that'd be nice!" I am such a wimpy Christian. I am so much more concerned with my own comfort and convenience than I am with love and obedience. I look at people like Maria and Craig and Miss Leslie and doubt my worthiness to untie their shoes.

When I first came to Faith, I was determined that I was going to get involved in people ministries. So where am I? Tucked away in a 3rd-floor office where I'm supposed to be working on the website, but where in reality I spend more time pursuing my own online interests. And I help with the post-worship hospitality. Two weeks in a row, however, I cut short conversations with people so I could run off and tend to important crises involving cookies and tea. I gave nursery duty the old college try for two years, but it wasn't a good match. I need to keep looking, eh?

Despite the many struggles I've had with my church not being what I'd hoped it would be, I am very sure God has me here for (among other things) the very good purpose of learning to get far enough outside my introverted shell to love people. I'm obviously not off to a great start, but I guess experiencing His gracious patience with my progress is part of the lesson plan. :-)

Oh...and of course it wasn't really a stinkin' party...it was a very nice-smelling party. ;-D
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/30/2003 03:15:00 PM • Permalink
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"Fight for Joy"
I can't remember the context, but my pastor was saying something this morning to open the service and introduce the first hymn, and that phrase jumped out at me. Here's the hymn:

Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His Name?

Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?

Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?

Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord.
Iíll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.

Thy saints in all this glorious war
Shall conquer, though they die;
They see the triumph from afar,
By faithís discerning eye

When that illustrious day shall rise,
And all Thy armies shine
In robes of victory through skies,
The glory shall be Thine.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/30/2003 01:09:00 PM • Permalink
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It Is Snowing on the 30th of March!
This just isn't allowed. I'm going to have to speak with the management. ;-)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/30/2003 01:05:00 PM • Permalink
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Saturday, March 29, 2003 AD
I'm used to doing several things at once. It's not unusual for me to have ten or a dozen windows open at once, for instance. But I am currently AIMing with two people at once (Paulo and Cindy) and find it very overwhelming. Why do you suppose that is?

By the way, Tanpau and Cindy constitute two-thirds of my buddy list. Kristen's the other third. If anybody else is interested, my AIM screen name is valkyriosity.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/29/2003 02:56:00 PM • Permalink
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Monsoon Wedding
I watched "Monsoon Wedding" three times in a row this week. I needed the first two viewings just to catch most of the dialogue. They switch back and forth between English and Hindi (and I think Punjabi, too...not that I can distinguish) so frequently and rapidly that it's hard for a monolingual ignoramus such as myself to follow. It was about halfway through the second viewing when I finally figured out what the bride's name was. It was in the third viewing that I caught the groom's. But then again, I found myself not really caring about the bride and groom. He (Hemant) was OK, but there really wasn't much of him in the story. As for her (Aditi)...well, let's just say I don't need a movie to get a dose of sullen and self-centered -- I can get that just by looking in the mirror.

Dubey and Alice -- the event manager and the servant girl -- were the heart-stealers of the show. Their characters were much more engaging and their romance was much more interesting. He's brash and overconfident, pretending to know it all and often making very little sense. She's "a simple, decent girl" -- shy and modest and utterly in control. He's utterly undone.

Ria's story is, of course, compelling. And very well written and acted. I knew exactly what was going on the moment Tej Uncle enters the scene -- Ria's expression says it all. At the end, when he removes his turban, his debonairly perfect hair has been squashed flat.

Aditi's father, Lalit (caught his name in the second viewing), spends the movie calling his Australian ex-pat nephew an idiot. And Rahul really is a bit of an idiot, but he makes good in the end. Lalit is a bit of an idiot, too, though. We see some of his failures and imperfections, but he, too, makes good in the end. Better than good -- self-sacrificially heroic.

The music and dancing were a blast, too.

The only movies I'd ever seen set in India were things like "The Jewel in the Crown" and "A Passage to India" -- an English colonial perspective -- so it was good to see India from an Indian perspective. I'd like to see colonial India from an Indian perspective, though. Too many decades' difference to make a good comparison.

Well, I never claimed to be able to write a movie review, so that's about all I have to say. I give it 10 marigolds, exactly and approximately. ·;-)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/29/2003 11:02:00 AM • Permalink
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It's an Honor Just to Be Nominated
Thanks, Davey, for the "Best Template" nominations (I'm counting Kristin's as well as my own). I think you should allow write-ins, though. Rachel's template, for instance, is top-notch.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/29/2003 10:20:00 AM • Permalink
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Wednesday, March 26, 2003 AD
An Item for the "Things I Regret Buying" List
Having enjoyed the Harry Potter tales thusfar, I was amused to find "Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans" in the StuffMart today. Stupidly, I did not look carefully at the packaging before impulsively tossing it on my pile of purchases. As in the stories, these come in some strange flavors. I'm grateful for the chart that shows what's what. Trust me, you do not ever want to eat sardine or spinach flavored jelly beans. There were other things more nefarious. I'm not in the habit of throwing away food, but there's no way I'm eating booger or vomit flavored anything. The normal flavors -- cherry, bubble gum, etc. -- are regular jelly bellys, so the purchase wasn't a total loss, but it's not one I'll ever repeat. Bertie Bott's Beans make a cute literary item, but their appearance in the real world is really rather disturbing.

On a related note, when you get in the 10 items or less lane with exactly 10 items, are you allowed to add other items that you've picked up in the aisle itself? This struck me as a great moral dilemma, and I posed the question to the young gentleman behind the cash register. He informed me that since his was the only open register, it didn't matter. Unfortunately, that leaves the question unanswered.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/26/2003 08:04:00 PM • Permalink
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I Haven't Had Much to Say Lately
But Mac and Scott now have newly redecorated blogs from which to have their respective says.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/26/2003 06:42:00 PM • Permalink
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Monday, March 24, 2003 AD
It Worked!
Thanks to Russ for coming up with the solution to the template issue, and John for letting me know about it. Now I've messed up my blog roll again, but I'll get it re-updated tonight. Do I get a prize for the world's shortest Garverization?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/24/2003 03:35:00 PM • Permalink
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Saturday, March 22, 2003 AD
Absurd Conversations
[After discussing some issues in the church and in the city government.]

Valerie: We should just take over the church and the city. We'd do a much better job, since we obviously know what the solution to every problem is.
Joan: [agrees]
Valerie: Heck, let's just take over everything. Fire God and rule the universe ourselves.
Joan: Well, maybe we could keep Him on a part-time basis.

[Laughter ensues.]
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/22/2003 05:05:00 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, March 20, 2003 AD
So Nobody Has Any Ideas Re My Blogger Problems?
I have not been able to republish my template for weeks -- about since the Google thing, so that may have something to do with it. This is not the usual 503 error. I get no useful error message, just [more info], which is two years old and completely useless. I really don't want to have go through the bother of switching to Moveable Type, but I can't not have access to my template -- my blog roll is woefully out of date. (I wish my reading list were woefully out of date, but I'm too slow a reader.)

Anyway, I'm wondering if there's some bad code in my template that Blogger's rejecting. If some savvier person could take a look, I'd be grateful. I'll send my password to any volunteers. Well...maybe not any volunteers, but at least ones I trust.

Is anybody else having this problem?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/20/2003 05:44:00 PM • Permalink
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I'm Going to Choir Practice Tonight
I haven't been to choir in months, mostly because of my never-ending sinus troubles. My sinuses are still a mess, and I just got the stitches out of my gum this morning, so that's still ouchy, but I really miss choir so I'm just going to show up and suffer!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/20/2003 05:13:00 PM • Permalink
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Monday, March 17, 2003 AD
"Stuck song syndrome annoyed, frustrated, and irritated women significantly more than men. And earworm attacks were more frequent -- and lasted longer -- for musicians and music lovers. Slightly neurotic people also seemed to suffer more."

No wonder I have this problem so often -- I've got all the risk factors! Well, except I'm highly neurotic, and only slightly musician. ;-D

My most plaguing earworms:
  • "Sleighride" ("Just hear those sleigh bells jingling...." I've been known to get this stuck in my head for days at a time. Sometimes in July. I consider it the most perniciously catchy tune ever composed.)

  • Various praise choruses (Usually the ones I hate the most are the worst culprits. Why can't I ever get "Holy, Holy, Holy" or "A Mighty Fortress" stuck in my head?)

  • Commercial jingles (Happily, none comes immediately to mind, and I don't dare risk tying to think of one).
What are yours?

(Oh, and I beg the forgiveness of anyone who is afflicted with this malady today as a result of this post!)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/17/2003 10:35:00 AM • Permalink
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Why would someone feel compelled to call me to tell me she'll be e-mailing me in five minutes?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/17/2003 10:21:00 AM • Permalink
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Saturday, March 15, 2003 AD
One Template, Two Sexes
I've tweaked the same template for two folks: a masculine version for John R. and feminine version for Kelly. I don't think Kelly's seen hers, yet, so I don't know if it'll stay as-is, but I'm rather amused by it. If Kelly doesn't want it, I'll sell it to the highest bidder give it to the first person who wants it. Duane and/or Sarah...were y'all still interested in new templates? Have I offered anybody else help that I haven't delivered on? Give me a holler.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/15/2003 08:32:00 PM • Permalink
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More "Upstairs-Downstairs" Trivia
• There was a series spinoff in 1979 -- "Thomas and Sarah."
• Lily, under-house parlourmaid in the season 5, was played by Karen Dotrice, who played Jane Banks in "Mary Poppins." That one drove me crazy the first time I watched the series. I knew I'd seen her before, but of course kept trying to picture the adult version of her. Finally it hit me that I was remembering the child version.
• Jean Marsh (Rose) was Queen Bavmorda in "Willow."
• Jaqueline Tong (Daisy) was Mrs. Hunt in "Princess Caraboo." I don't remember either this appearance or the previous, but I've seen both.
• Meg Wynn Owen (Hazel) was Mrs. Lewis in "Gosford Park." I haven't seen "Gosford Park," but I wanted to remember this in case I ever did.
• Robery Hardy, who was Siegfried Farnon in "All Creatures Great and Small" and the ever-winkling Sir John Middleton in "Sense and Sensibility," played Sir Guy Paynter in an episode in season 5.
• And of course just about every cast member I looked up was on "Dr. Who" at one point or another, not to mention various and sundry other BBC productions.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/15/2003 04:06:00 PM • Permalink
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Friday, March 14, 2003 AD
Blogger Problems
Blogger has refused for a couple weeks now to republish my template. I'm this )( close to looking into MT, but I'd really rather avoid the hassle of switching. Any Blogger experts out there who can give me a hand?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/14/2003 05:05:00 PM • Permalink
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A Sunday Discovery
Friends had me over for lunch after church on Sunday and I discovered that there actually is an alcoholic beverage I like.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/14/2003 04:55:00 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, March 13, 2003 AD
Well I Did a Brilliant Thing This Morning (She Said Facetiously)
My periodontist appointment was at 8:30 this morning, so I was very proud of myself when I turned on to the road where the office is at 8:15. That's when it hit me. I had gone to the endodontist's office! The periodontist's office was a good half hour away. They had warned me that if I was more than 15 minutes late, I'd have to reschedule. And this was rush hour. I raced from White Marsh to Towson, pulled into the parking lot at 8:45, and ran to the office where I breathlessly told them my foolish tale. Happily, they were still able to take me. Even had me out by 9:30.

Now for the really sad part of the story. How often in your life is a milkshake actually medically prescribed? Not very, eh? So I thought I'd splurge and get me a real one from Baskin Robbins. Alas! They don't open 'til 11 a.m.! So I ran a couple errands and headed for church. Sadly, there are no BRs or DQs in this part of town, so I'm contenting myself with a Mickey D's shake, but it's just not the same.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/13/2003 12:00:00 PM • Permalink
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Signs of Spring
Daffodils about 6-8 inches high. Can't wait 'til they bloom!

Geese all over the place. Saw one loooooong, straggly V this morning. Actually more like a U -- there were a buch crowded at the front end, then a long trail behind. Do you know why one line of the V is always longer than the other? (See comments for answer!)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/13/2003 11:47:00 AM • Permalink
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Wednesday, March 12, 2003 AD
My Turn for Blood-Spitting
I'm having a crown-lengthening procedure done tomorrow morning. They cut away a flap of the gum, grind away a bit of the bone, and sew back the gum so there's more tooth there for the crown to hold onto. Right now I've only got enough for a tiara, I guess. Anyway, it doesn't sound like much fun, but unlike other blood spitters, I don't plan to let this little incident interrupt my blogging one bit. Nosirree...

I will blog boldly on, through the blood, through the pain.
At least while I'm feeling the blest Novocain.
I will blog boldly on, through the spitting and drilling.
Who'da thunk that this blogging could be so darned thrilling?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/12/2003 05:18:00 PM • Permalink
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Tuesday, March 11, 2003 AD
The Holiday Spirit
Evidently Kelly and another forum friend, Cindy (who seems to have been skulking 'round my blog without leaving any comments), thought it was National Be Nice to Valerie For No Particular Reason Week. They both sent me stuff from my Amazon wish list! Thanks, youse guys. Y'all are so sweet!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/11/2003 09:54:00 AM • Permalink
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Welcome New Bloggers!
Longtime forum friends John R. and Kelly C. have come over to the dark side in recent days. Another friend, Steve B., had threatened to, but so far, it's just been an empty promise.

Update: Yet another friend, Mike M. (Mac, if you're reading this, I had to stop and rack my brains a bit to think of your real first name!), is also teasing us with promises of a forthcoming blog.

Another Update: Steve B. is up and running now! OK, Mac...the pressure's on you.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/11/2003 09:46:00 AM • Permalink
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Saturday, March 08, 2003 AD
A Cross Between "Matilda" and "Cold Comfort Farm"
What movie did I watch last night? (And again Saturday morning. And again Saturday night.)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/08/2003 09:10:00 PM • Permalink
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Tuesday, March 04, 2003 AD
Cubicle, Sweet Cubicle
Since Seth has given us a glimpse of his desk (March 3 entry), I thought I'd post a little movie (1.1MB) I made in December 2001. Mine doesn't have fancy pop-ups, but it does have background music! :-)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/04/2003 10:24:00 AM • Permalink
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Monday, March 03, 2003 AD
10,000 Visits!
Whoever visited my site today at 4:36 p.m. from Princess Fluffy using rr.com was my 10,000th visitor since I installed Sitemeter on October 9. Many thanks to everybody who reads kyriosity.com! :-)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/03/2003 04:47:00 PM • Permalink
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Gas Prices
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/03/2003 12:45:00 PM • Permalink
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Sunday, March 02, 2003 AD
>:-( Awright. Who Was It? Fess Up!
Somebody blogged a couple weeks ago about Cubis. And now I'm hooked, lined, and sinkered. If I ever find the culprit, I'll tear 'em limb from limb, I will! For the rest of you...whatever you do, don't click on that link! I cannot be responsible for the ensuing addiction!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/02/2003 05:06:00 PM • Permalink
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Three little ones were baptized this morning. And straightway after they were made members of the Body of Christ, they were marched right out of the sanctuary to be deposited in the nursery. I'm not one who takes a hard no-nursery stance, but it just seemed so sad that they were no sooner ushered in than they were ushered back out.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/02/2003 01:35:00 PM • Permalink
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When Will I Ever Learn?
I really need to get it through my thick skull that I am too old to be pulling all-nighters. I crawled into bed at quarter past six this morning and set the alarm for nine. It is especially foolish of me to do this on a Saturday night, since I really ought to try to be in better shape for worship. Worship's hard enough when I'm at my most alert. It's nigh unto impossible when I'm half asleep!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3/02/2003 01:30:00 PM • Permalink
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